Over Half-Million Hoosier Kids benefiting from long-running Federal program

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)

This week, the Medicaid program marks a milestone, it’s 50th year.  A new report studying the health insurance program’s lifelong benefits to some of Indiana’s most at risk children has found a surprising outcome.

Margaret Stapleton with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law says the benefits are invaluable,  “They’re all going to have a physician that’s paying attention to their development and their well-being. And we all know that kids getting attention and preventive care when they need it just makes a world of difference for them, for the rest of their lives.”

Stapleton said that kids enrolled in the Medicaid program become healthier adults with better educational outcomes and greater financial security.

What’s more, the government benefits.   Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center said,
“Some studies are now finding that children who received Medicaid actually pay more taxes as adults and use fewer government subsidies.  So, essentially, the government is getting a great return on investment by providing kids with Medicaid.”

Alker adds the program has played a vital role in reducing the uninsured rate for children, dropping to about seven percent in 2013, from 12 percent in 1987.

More than 660 thousand Hoosier kids received health service through Medicaid.  The program also benefits people with disabilities.